Wednesday, August 4, 2010

JulNoWriMo: How I Won Without Writing "Bad Company"

I failed at JulNoWriMo. And yet I won. How did I pull it off? Simple: I abandoned Bad Company. I hardly even wrote a word of it. In fact, I might not even finish it at all.

What saved me, then? Well, on the afternoon of the 14th, I was napping in my recliner. I had a vivid dream. But it was not really a dream; it was the first chapter of Spanner. My muse had already decided to throw out the prequels and work on the original project. At once, I got onto a 5,000-word pace and wrote several chapters. When I slacked off, I invoked Panic Mode in the final week and got back up to 5K a day, finishing with a 10K day. And so I won.

Spanner, remember, is the story I started planning as a manga in 1992. Bad Company and its projected sequels were intended as novel prequels to the manga. However, 2014 is fast approaching and I still haven't been able to learn to draw comics. So, I'm writing it as a novel. Spanner's still very much cyberpunk, and it will still remain as controversial as I've always planned it. However, instead of the pretty (and ugly) pictures, what I'll be delivering is wild wordplay — at least for now.

The result is that I have 13 chapters and one prequel short story in various stages of completion. Before I start writing again, this time for AugNoWriMo, I'm going back and straightening out the plotlines. I have several plotlines from several years of the Spanner Project Notebooks (15 of them since '92!) that I want to incorporate into the story. I've already included several of the scenes and set pieces I've scripted since at least '99, if not all the way back to '92. I'm also developing the character arcs of several characters more. I'm working out new ideas in new Notebook entries (I use the Project Notebook as a workbook now that I have this project blog). I'll be scanning the Notebooks for ideas, scenes, characters, and storylines I missed last month. Then, I'll rework the plot and start writing again. Once again, it's 50,000 words.

My goal is to start serializing Spanner the novel online by the time NaNoWriMo begins in November. Watch for it!

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